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  #21  
Old 01-11-2009, 05:30 PM
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saab96 saab96 is offline
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

Just to update you guys, I got a rough price quote from China on NiFes. They offered me 3x the cost of lead. The BeUtilityFree guys are more like 4-5 times the cost of lead. I think the main problem here is the current cost of nickel vs. lead. It's probably possible to make your own NiFe batteries but unless you can find a cheaper source of nickel plates then you won't gain that much. Maybe someone can run some numbers on what it would cost in raw materials. The technology seems very simple.
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  #22  
Old 01-11-2009, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

I am tempted to build a battery and then see how well it works. NiFe can't be too hard to make. A sheet of Nickel and sheet of Iron, place in 30% Potassium Hydroxide and water. I would know the thickness and surface area of each sheet then do a capacity test. This would tell me roughly how many amp hours each square inch is worth. I could also test to see if there was any gain to using a thicker plate vs. surface area. Monitor heat and current curves, I've done this much on existing batteries already.
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  #23  
Old 01-12-2009, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

Some good information is in this thread
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/b...ns/message/179

And here
http://www.chemie.uni-regensburg.de/...x_edison-e.htm

The below info was posted on another group as "historical information" and I have never tested it, so no idea if it works well enough to be a real battery.

Anyway this is the cheap method of making a suido Edison Battery


--------------

Iron (anode) Plate

To make the iron anode, first mix 6 1/4 grams of iron oxide with 1 1/4 gram of ammonium chloride, then add distilled water a drop at a time until a stiff
paste results. The mixture will give off ammonia gas and will turn to a
white color. Working quickly, smear the paste well into a 1 x 6-inch piece
of No. 20 or 30 close mesh iron or copper wire screening.

It will take about a day for the paste to thoroughly set and harden on the
screen, or you can hasten it by placing it in an oven set at no more than
130F. When dry, lay screen in a solution of ammonium chloride (12 grams to
6 oz. of water), for about 1 hours to harden it further. This completes the
anode plate.

Nickel (cathode) Plate

To make the nickel cathode, first mix 6 1/4 grams of nickel oxide with 1 1/4 gram of ammonium chloride, then add distilled water a drop at a time until a
stiff paste results. The mixture will give off ammonia gas. Form this plate
directly on the surface of a 1 x 6-inch. piece of .015 inch or thicker
nickel screen, which has been cleaned thoroughly with emery cloth. Working
quickly, smear this paste well into a 1 x 6-inch piece of No. 20 or 30
close-mesh nickel wire screening.

It will take about a day for this paste to thoroughly set and harden on the
screen, or you can hasten it by placing it in an oven set at no more than
130F. When dry, lay screen in a solution of ammonium chloride (12 grams to 6 oz. of water), for about 1 hours to harden it further.

Fill a wide mouthed jar or a 1000 ml. Beaker with 32 oz. of distilled water.
Dissolve 9 grams of sodium hydroxide (lye) in this water and add 1 gram of
common table salt. Sodium hydroxide is hard on the hands and clothes in its concentrated form, so don't handle the crystals with your fingers and always add the crystals to the water slowly.

Mark the iron oxide plate negative and nickel oxide positive now to avoid
mistakes. Connect a battery charger or car storage battery to the plates,
negative to iron oxide plate and positive to the nickel oxide plate, also a
direct current ammeter or digital multi-meter and a l0-ohm 25-watt resister
is added in series with the forming current. Turn on the forming current and
adjust the variable resister so that only 1 ampere of forming current flows.
It is important that you observe polarity right at the first charge.
Connecting the negative lead to the iron oxide plate and the positive lead
to the nickel oxide plate. This charge must be (2 or 3 hours), because the
iron oxide plate must be converted to metallic iron. It doesn't matter if
the plates gas in this forming charge.

Attach the cathode and anode plates to a strip of wood to test them. Fill
another 13-oz. glass tumbler with about 9 oz. of distilled water and slowly
dissolve 3 oz. of sodium hydroxide in this to form the electrolyte of the
iron-nickel cell. Suspend the plates in this liquid. Now your cell is
complete. Cell voltage on open circuit will be right around 0.75 volts for
this iron-nickel Edison cell.
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  #24  
Old 01-13-2009, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

I have a price quote from Zuhai for nickel-iron batteries. I was asking about an off-grid bank so it's $9,300 plus shipping for 48v of 400ah capacity. So for an EV, that would be 96v at 200ah. That's for an individual order. In a group buy maybe it would go down a little more. Let me know what you guys think of the price. I'm not very impressed.
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  #25  
Old 01-14-2009, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

I have to admit $9,300 is not a very impressive price. The above procedure has more than I realized but I could do a lot of research for $9,300 bucks! I thought NiFe cells were 1.2V but the above shows .75V?
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  #26  
Old 01-18-2009, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
I have to admit $9,300 is not a very impressive price. The above procedure has more than I realized but I could do a lot of research for $9,300 bucks! I thought NiFe cells were 1.2V but the above shows .75V?
That cell is completely DIY assuming you have no access to the proper chemicals off the shelf.

A few things,

1. That NIFE cell is cheaper using a mesh and paste like a lead battery and not solid metal, this may effect voltage but also may effect capacity.

2. The .75 volt is the steady state right after being formed, its capacity and voltage will probably migrate upward somewhat after cycling, in fact the cell was supposed to be "pulse charged" as part of the experiment to show its effects.

So without building it and cycling it properly I couldn't comment on what you would end up with after some time, it might be enough of a winner to be scaled up and used as a large scale battery but I haven't found anyone claiming to use it.

A few in that forum commented on changing the electrolite used for better results.

In any event the paste NIFE should be signifantly cheaper to make but as I stated no one has been proven to have used it for anything other than a test tube curiosity.

Good Luck
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  #27  
Old 01-20-2009, 06:05 PM
Nate Nate is offline
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

Lets say you have a thin plate of Nickel and a thin plate of iron each suspended in a 30% Potassium Hydroxide and water solution. Could you condition the plates with a current in solution or do you need to have them oxidized prior to placement?

Basically a metal oxide can be had by heating up the metal in a vacuum and injecting oxygen. It then becomes an oxide of that metal or has an oxide layer on the surface. I know this is more than most people can do but that is the basics of a pure metal oxide.
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  #28  
Old 04-01-2009, 11:10 PM
kralc kralc is offline
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

I know nothing of Thundersky, but NiFe batteries are available from China.
Eagle Pichard stopped making them when they went bankrupt ~'97

Some sources:
Seiden battery -China -manufacturer
http://www.chinabatterycenter.com/

Sichuan Changhong Battery Co., Ltd. Mianyang, Sichuan P.R. China -Exporter
http://sinoriching.en.alibaba.com/

BeUtilityFree, Inc. -US importer
1-888-320-9211
http://www.beutilityfree.com/content.../Deka0919a.pdf

to buy from China look here:
http://www.binocularschina.com/guide/payment.html

A potassium hydroxide solution in NiFe batt and the electrodes do not become depleted. New electrolyte makes then new again. They have a lower power density, a low discharge rate and weigh more than other cells but can be discharged to almost zero and recover, making them last 20 years or more. Edison designed them for the Baker Electric car.

You might want to see if Alvin Snaper developed his designs.
http://www.designfax.net/archives/0401/0401yr.asp

You make a choice here. A low power density that could last a long time or buying batteries every 5 years. Edison batteries are great for a home system. No decision about autos. But it is a one time expense.
jC
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  #29  
Old 04-07-2009, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

Is it a low power density or a low energy density? Power density I can work around. Energy density and cycle life are my most important discriminators.
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  #30  
Old 04-08-2009, 12:48 AM
kralc kralc is offline
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Default Re: Edison Batteries

Is it a low power density or a low energy density?

Power density in Watts.

Edison batteries are heavier than other types (except maybe HD deep cycle batteries)
Per charge you will get less total wattage from them, OTOH you can drain them down to zero (if your controller allows it). I consider that a wash really.
AFIK you can run them forever as long as you refresh the electrolyte when required.
For cars IMO I think the choices are NiFe, flooded NiCd or Silver Zinc. NiFe for long life, NiCd for speed or acceleration with a reasonable life, and Silver Zinc for high speed, high power drain like a sports car or a dragster. (the first Bonneville E-Car record was set with a SiZn as a Pop Mech project. There was no previous record) But you better have big bucks to buy them, and I don't know of a current manufacturer. Military surplus is a source.
My feeling on Lithium (all types) is they are not developed enough yet. Or maybe it is just production reliability. There is still a flammability problem too. Nickle Metal Hydride appears to have a short life, so while really great in other aspects you will replace them way too often.
What do I want? A Hydrogen power cell. But then I have to make Hydrogen
Back on topic (from memory) Highest power density is Lithium and NiMh, followed by NiCd. I don't have a number on SiZn but because of the higher voltage they should fall in above NiCd.
I see it as a total dollar question. So Edison comes first, might last 2 cars. NiCd second and deep cycle lead acid last. But that is just an opinion.

jC
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